Metropolis: Recap of Design for Equity Event


Following up on the announcement of Design for Equity in November, Metropolis Magazine recently published a recap of the 1-½ day event. Sponsored by the Bruner Foundation and the Loeb Fellowship, three Boston-based organizations–Enterprise Community Partners, Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation and the Boston Redevelopment Authority–coordinated the event. Participants included 125 professionals from the fields of design, community development, arts, urban planning, philanthropy, advocacy, and government. The article’s author, Anne-Marie Lubenau, director of the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence, summed up the experience:

The interactive forum provided a platform to consider the increasing economic and social disparity in our cities and explore how design can contribute to greater equity and opportunity for everyone. We were excited to explore the topic of equity in Boston, as the issue is a growing concern and is central to newly elected mayor Martin Walsh’s agenda.

Click here to read more on “Designing for Equity,” online at

2015 Wheelwright Prize Guidelines Released


Harvard GSD recently launched the 2015 Wheelwright Prize, a $100,000 traveling fellowship for early-career architects. Now open internationally, the annual prize is “dedicated to fostering new forms of architectural research informed by cross-cultural engagement.” Guidelines for 2015 submissions are now available on the website. The prize will accept applications online January 5th-30th, 2015.

“Since relaunching the prize two years ago, we have seen hundreds of extraordinary responses from every corner of the globe, exhibiting an admirable ambition among young architects to define new territories of concern for the profession,” remarked Harvard GSD Dean Mohsen Mostafavi. “We look forward to the 2015 competition and anticipate submissions to address an equally impressive range of spatial, technological, urban, social, and political issues.”

Click here to learn more and apply for the 2015 Wheelwright Prize, online at

IxDA Announces 30 Finalists for 2015 Awards


Entering it’s fourth year, finalists for the 2015 Interaction Awards have been announced. Launched by the Interaction Design Association in 2012, the awards recognize and celebrate “examples of excellence in Interaction Design across domains, channels, environments and cultures.” From five finalists in six categories–Optimizing, Engaging, Empowering, Expressing, Connecting, and Disrupting–awards will be given in the Best in Category, Best Student, Best in Show, and the People’s Choice Award, which opens for voting on January 5th. Winners will be announced at Interaction15 Conference February 9th-11th, 2015 in San Francisco.

The thirty finalists represent an array of solutions, from streamlining the milkman delivery process (yes, that does still exist) to expressing emotional responses to news to using personal data to create unique, artistic portraits. We took note of a few that could make a marked improvement in the lives of the young to the elderly: More

Next City 2015 Vanguard Call for Urban Leaders


Urban design and policy media nonprofit Next City have opened applications to participate in the 2015 Vanguard Conference. From May 6th to 8th, 2015, forty young urban thought leaders will convene in Reno, Nevada–the first time the event has been held west of the Mississippi River. The three-day event is chock full of “workshops, tours and conversations about the newest ideas in urban development, transportation, tech and politics.” Deadline to apply is February 8th, 2015, and early birds who apply by January 31st with receive $10 off the $30 application fee.

We know that solving urban problems means working across divides and breaking silos, so we are inviting applicants from all sectors, including urban planning, community development, entrepreneurship, government, transportation, sustainability, design, art and media. We will select 40 applicants whose smart ideas for cities, experience in the field and ambition for the future all show great promise.

Click here to learn more and apply to be 2015 Vanguard, online at

Rural Studio Honored with 2015 AIA Award


The acclaimed design/build program Rural Studio has been awarded the 2015 Whitney M. Young Jr. Prize by the AIA. Founded in 1993 by D.K. Ruth and Samuel Mockbee, the Auburn University-based architecture studio has committed to build homes and community buildings for residents in western Alabama for over 20 years. Along with the diverse portfolio of projects, their work has contributed to the rise in impact design. “The commitment to designing for those who need it most—which Rural Studio has inspired in a full generation of architects—is the force-multiplier for this small group that echoes beyond Hale County.”

Established in 1972, the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award has honored architects and organizations that embody the profession’s proactive social mandate through a range of commitments, including affordable housing, inclusiveness, and universal access. The award is named after the civil rights–era head of the Urban League who confronted—head-on—the AIA’s absence of socially progressive advocacy at the 1968 AIA National Convention.

Click here to read the full press release on 2015 Whitney M. Young Jr. award winners Rural Studio, online at

Triple Pundit Chats with Autodesk Foundation and OpenIDEO Tomorrow


How can creativity and design thinking solve problems of sustainability? Tomorrow, Wednesday December 17th, at 7pm PT TriplePundit’s founder Nick Aster will be diving into this question during a fireside chat with Joe Speicher, executive director of the Autodesk Foundation, and Joanna Spoth, challenge manager at OpenIDEO. Hosted by the Impact Hub San Francisco, the event will kick off with networking and beers at 6:30pm PT. For those not located in the Bay Area, the discussion and Q&A will be streamed live online. Registration is now open on Eventbrite.

It might seem obvious that creativity is part of any problem-solving process, but it’s not always obvious how to create the conditions wherein creativity can thrive. How can these conditions be stoked? More importantly, how can sustainability be injected into the creative process so that any problem solving design is thinking about the long-term sustainability challenges of our world and society?

Click here to register to attend Stories and Beer: Creativity and Sustainability with Joe Speicher and Joanna Spoth, online at

Reminder: 2015 Architizer Award Entries Due Friday

Entries to the 3rd Annual Architizer A+Awards are quickly approaching as we roll into the holiday season. Firms and individuals involved in architecture and product design must send in submissions by Friday, December 19th. As we saw in the 10 public interest design projects, Architizer’s array of 93 categories provides a plethora of options for projects of all shapes, sizes, and clienteles. A collection of 300 judges will choose five finalists and one winner in each category, and winners will be recognized at the A+Awards Gala in New York City in May 2015.

The A+Awards are the most visible awards program in the architecture and design industry. A key part of Architizer’s mission to “break architecture out of the echo chamber,” A+ gets the world’s top projects and products in front of not just the design trade, but the people and brands investing in and advocating for great design.

Click here to learn more and submit your projects to the Architizer A+Awards, online at

Global Health Corps Call for Fellows


Applications for the Global Health Corps 2015-2016 Fellowship cycle are being accepted now until February 3, 2015. With 152 opportunities available in Burundi, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, the United States, and Zambia, GHC is looking for outstanding individuals who are “seeking to apply their skills and their passion for health equity to a lifelong community of global changemakers.” Focused on emerging talent (aged 30 and under) from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds, fellows will spend two weeks in training and twelve months working on the ground, rounded out with a final exit meeting. Partner organizations who will be hosting fellows include MASS Design Group, Village Health Works, Partners in Health, Action for Community Development, and a whole host of other NGOs.

All Global Health Corps fellows are motivated, intelligent, and believe health is a human right. They come from diverse backgrounds, and vary in educational experience, professional expertise, and personal story. Whether they have a background in management, education, research, technology or another field, each fellow brings a unique perspective to their Placement Organization and the GHC community.

Click here to learn more and apply to Global Health Corps 2015-2015 Fellowship Program, online at

3 Design Organizations Awarded UK Social Enterprise Awards


The 16th annual UK Social Enterprise Awards–hosted by Social Enterprise UK and sponsored by The Independent–recently announced the winners across eleven categories, including Social Enterprise of the Year, Women’s Champion and Inspiring Youth Enterprise. Celebrated at a ceremony in London on November 26th, each winning organization was presented with bespoke trophies made by social enterprises Impact Arts and Cre8. We especially took note of these three winning social enterprises who work within the design and architecture fields. More

“Early In the Process”: An Interview with Robert Fabricant


Robert Fabricant is the Co-Founder and Principal of the Design Impact Group (DIG) at Dalberg Global Development Advisors, a strategic consultancy focused on social impact. Prior to joining Dalberg, Robert was Vice President of Creative at frog. Allan Chochinov is Editor at Large of Core77 and Chair of the MFA Products of Design program at SVA. This interview is part of a series investigating the intersection of design and social innovation between Core77 and Impact Design Hub.

Allan Chochinov: Let’s start at the beginning Robert. Where did you first become interested in design for social change?

Robert Fabricant: I was fortunate to be working as a creative at a place like frog during a massive expansion in the mandate for design. We went from designing individual products and interfaces to rethinking much broader ecosystems that surround us. It is only natural that this momentum would propel design outside of the boundaries of the sorts of problems that a single company will hire you to work on—even big companies like GE and Disney—to broader social issues such as education, health and employment. More